GOINS v. GILLIS, et al
ORDER denying as moot 30 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by Judge Arthur J. Schwab on 10/12/2017. (lmt)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
MAURICE R. GOINS,
FRANK D. GILLIS, ET AL.
Before the Court is a Motion to Reconsider filed by pro se Plaintiff, Maurice Goins. The
Court will deny the Motion for the reasons stated herein.
More than nine years ago, on August 26, 2004, Plaintiff filed a Motion to proceed in
forma pauperis anda Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. ECF 1. The Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus was refiled on October 20, 2004, service was executed, and Defendants filed
their Answer to same on December 10, 2004. After obtaining the State Court records related to
Plaintiff’s Petition, the late Magistrate Judge Amy Hay issued a Report and Recommendation on
June 14, 2005, recommending that the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus be denied as untimely
and that a certificate of appealability also be denied. See ECF 18. This Court adopted the
Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Hay, denying the Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus and denying that a certificate of appealability.
On July 14, 2005, Plaintiff filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit. On October 21, 2005, the Court of Appeals denied Plaintiff’s request for a
certificate of appealability foreclosing Plaintiff from litigating his Petition before that Court.
Following this 2005 decision, nothing substantive appeared on the Court’s docket for
over nine years. Then, on December 9, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Relief from
Reproducing the Record and Making Copies. ECF 28. This case was referred to Magistrate
Judge Robert Mitchell, who, on December 11, 2014, denied the request as moot via a Text Order
stating: “ORDER denying as moot  Motion for relief from reproducing record since a
certificate of appealability was denied over nine years ago and there is nothing pending at CA
Also on December 11, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to file an Amended
Habeas Corpus Petition. ECF 29. In response to this Motion, Magistrate Judge Mitchell issued
a Text Order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff’s Motion. Magistrate Judge Mitchell
ordered as follows: “ORDER granting in part and denying in part  Motion for Leave to File
amended petition. Leave to amend his 2004 petition is denied. Leave to proceed in forma
pauperis is granted and the Clerk is directed to file the amended petition at a new case number.”
See Text Order at docket entry dated December 11, 2014.
As a result of Magistrate Judge Mitchell’s December 11, 2014 Order, the Clerk opened
another case (at docket number 14cv1683) and filed Plaintiff’s Motion to proceed in forma
pauperis at docket entry number 1, and then filed the [Amended] Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus at docket entry number 2. On December 16, 2014, Magistrate Judge Mitchell issued the
following Order transferring the entire matter to the United States Court of Appeals:
MEMORANDUM and ORDER
Maurice R. Goins, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at
Huntingdon has presented a petition for a writ of habeas corpus which he
has been granted leave to prosecute in forma pauperis.
Goins is presently serving a twenty to forty year sentence imposed
on November 9, 1999, following his conviction by a jury of criminal
homicide at No. CP-02-CR-8059-1998 in the Court of Common Pleas of
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.1
However, this is not Goins’ first federal petition challenging his
conviction at CP-02-CR-8059-1998. At 04-cv-1300[,] Goins filed a
habeas corpus petition which was dismissed as untimely on June 30, 2005
and a certificate of appealability was denied on October 21, 2005. At 09cv-1484[,] he submitted a habeas petition which was dismissed as
successive on February 9, 2010. At 12-cv-711 he submitted another
petition which was dismissed on August 2, 2011 for failure to prosecute.
Finally, at 2:12-cv-1598 he filed a fourth federal habeas corpus petition
challenging that same conviction. The latter petition was dismissed on
November 20, 2012 as time barred and a certificate of appealability was
denied. No appeal was pursued.2 Goins now returns to this Court again
seeking to challenge his state court conviction.
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, signed into
law on April 24, 1996, included several major reforms to the federal
habeas corpus laws. As part of this habeas corpus reform, Congress
amended 28 U.S.C.' 2244 to prohibit district courts from entertaining
claims presented in a second or successive habeas corpus application
unless the appropriate federal court of appeals authorizes such filing. The
relevant amended language provides as follows:
(A) Before a second or successive application permitted by this
section is filed in the district court, the applicant shall move in
the appropriate court of appeals for an order authorizing the
district court to consider the application.
(B) A motion in the court of appeals for an order authorizing the
district court to consider a second or successive application
shall be determined by a three-judge panel of the court of
(C) The court of appeals may authorize the filing of a second or
successive application only if it determines that the application
makes a prima facie showing that the application satisfies the
requirements of this subsection.
See: Petition at ¶¶ 1-6.
Goins also filed a "petition for a writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum" at 2:12-cv-373 which was
dismissed as meritless on November 20, 2012.
(D) The court of appeals shall grant or deny the authorization to
file a second or successive application not later than 30 days
after the filing of the motion.
(E) The grant or denial of an authorization by a court of appeals to
file a second or successive application shall not be appealable
and shall not be the subject of a petition for rehearing or for a
writ of certiorari.
28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3).
Because the instant petition was improperly filed in this court as
opposed to the Court of Appeals as required by 28 U.S.C. 2244(b)(3)(A),
this Court lacks jurisdiction over it without the authorization of the Court
of Appeals, and it will be transferred to the United States Court of Appeals
for the Third Circuit pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1631 for consideration as a
An appropriate Order shall be entered.
See, 2:14-cv-01683-RCM at docket entry 3.
Now, nearly three years later, Plaintiff is asking this Court to Reconsider Magistrate
Judge’s Order filed in the instant matter which granted Plaintiff the substantive relief he sought
in his Motion frilled at ECF 29. ECF 29 was Plaintiff’s request to proceed in forma pauperis and
amend his habeas Petition. Again, Magistrate Judge Mitchell, via text order, directed the Clerk
to file Plaintiff’s amended habeas Petition at a new docket number, which the Clerk did. Thus,
the only portion of Plaintiff’s December 11, 2014 request (filed at ECF 29) which Magistrate
Judge Mitchell denied was that the amended habeas Petition be filed on this specific docket.
Simply stated, Magistrate Judge Mitchell granted the substance of Plaintiff’s Motion
filed at ECF 29 on this docket, by ordering that a new docket be opened to allow litigation on
Plaintiff’s [Amended] Writ to proceed. Accordingly, the Court will deny Plaintiff’s Motion to
Reconsider the Motion filed by Plaintiff at ECF 29 as moot given that he was successful on that
SO ORDERED, this 12th day of October, 2017.
s/ Arthur J. Schwab
Arthur J. Schwab
United States District Judge
All ECF Registered Counsel of Record
1100 Pike Street
Huntingdon, PA 16654
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